A 'Nole, Gator & 'Cane Team up for Football Charity

MIAMI, Fla - Three of the state of Florida's most talented football
alumni are playing for a little more than a shot at the Super Bowl this
season, they're playing for a variety of youth programs around Florida,
as well as their hometowns and current NFL cities around the country
through the ‘Yards for Youth' campaign.
Anquan Boldin (FSU), Percy Harvin (UF) and Andre Johnson (UM) have
established themselves as some of football's most elite playmakers. As
leaders, they're coming together to create awareness and donations for
youth programs through the Make a Play Foundation, a charity that
partners with legendary Gator, Hurricane and Seminole players to provide
academic and recreational grants for Florida youth programs.
Through the campaign, fans can pledge any amount (10 cents, $1, $100)
per touchdown, reception or yard for the 2009 season, combining the
fantasy football obsession with an old-fashioned jog-a-thon. Not only
does each touchdown catch provide for their team this season, it will
provide for youth programs and their adopted charities with the support
of fans and corporate sponsors. Fans can also make a one-time donation
or an automatic monthly contribution. 100 percent of fan donations will
directly benefit youth and family programs, turning stats into resources
and opportunities.
As top fantasy football picks, fans can also purchase shirts to for a
$25 donation, with profits supporting the initiative.
All three players have been a part of championship teams: Johnson
winning MVP honors in 2001 as part of the Hurricanes national
championship team, Boldin was a freshman on the 1999 Seminoles title
team and Harvin putting together a highlight reel during the Gator BCS
championship runs in 2006 and 2008.
Florida State's Boldin will be participating to raise donations to build
a new Boys & Girls Club near his hometown of Pahokee. Florida's Harvin
will be playing for youth programs of Gainesville and Minnesota. Miami's
Johnson will be playing for youth programs of Miami and Houston. A
portion of the proceeds will also benefit the Make a Play Foundation's
academic and recreational youth programs in Florida.
Johnson and Boldin have well-established charities, two players that are
just as valuable to their hometown communities as they are to their
teammates on Sundays. Boldin's high school has recently named their new
stadium in his honor for his contributions to the school and community.
He was also presented the "Distinguished Service" award on behalf of the
Pahokee Chamber of Commerce and awarded a key to the city from mayor
Wayne Whitaker. Johnson was recently recognized as a finalist for The
Home Depot NFL Neighborhood MVP award, having worked with numerous
organizations in Miami and the Houston area during his professional
career. Harvin, the rookie, plans to establish his own charity within
the year, and has volunteered his time with Gainesville's Shands
Hospital, Children's Miracle Network and Ronald McDonald House.
Fans can make a pledge to their favorite player online or make a
one-time donation at www.makeaplayfoundation.org or call (352) 514-2681
for a pledge form. All pledges are tax-deductible, will be accepted
throughout the season and will include all post-season stats.
Opening the 2009 season, the Make a Play Foundation partnered with
Warrick Dunn (FSU), Kevin Everett (UM), Willis McGahee (UM), Ed Reed
(UM), Myron Rolle (FSU) and Samari Rolle (FSU) to raise donations for a
variety of charities during the week of the UM-FSU game. Last November,
the foundation collected nearly 10 tons of food during the week of the
UF-FSU game for Gainesville and Tallahassee food banks. The foundation
has a variety of awareness events and fundraisers scheduled for the 2009